It was kind of crazy. A commercial shoot for a major theme park that pays a very modest session rate per day and an extraordinarily low buyout. How low? Lower than I've been paid for a 13-week local spot. And this was national. And waaaay beyond 13 weeks. Forever, in fact.
I understand all the parks work this way. Apparently they can find any number of people -- actors and non-actors -- willing to be whisked off for essentially a free "vacation." The shoot could go on for days or even more than a week, so the session rates would start to add up, for sure. And if they book your whole family, then you're really talking about some money.
Still, I think they should just stick to real people. I just couldn't, on principle, give it away like that. And I'd be a "fill-in" anyway, shoved into some family unit whose father/husband wasn't interested in participating.
I've done that before, trying to bond with a wife and her kids and make it realistic. Let's just say a lot depends on the wife and kids. (The dog loved me, I'll say that much.)
So I said no. Because aside from the money, I'm not sure I could take 10 days or two weeks away. Not to mention I'm really not a fan of rollercoasters and rides that turn you upside down three in different directions at once.
As I type this, of course, I'm starting to wonder if I'm crazy. Ten days all expenses paid in some warm state in the middle of winter? Am I nuts?
No, I'm principled. At least, that's what I'll be telling myself when I see my friends post pictures of themselves riding the flume in bathing suits while I'm dodging slush puddles.